“I come to do your wish, O God” (Hebrews 10:7).
Many Christians mistakenly believe that it is possible to live for Christ without first dying for Him; this is not so. Life in Christ is dependent upon death of self; these two cannot cohabitate in the soul; it is one or the other.
Believers know two lives; the first in Adam, driven by friendship with the world and carnal self interest, that is intrinsically hostile to God. This life can never be converted, it must die.
The second life that is known to believers is the new life in Christ, the life that cannot be known by the old man and that can only be lived by the new man.
The intermingling of the old life with the new is, theologically speaking, totally impossible, yet the vast majority of those who describe themselves as Christians take it for granted that it can be done. This is to think that one can be half dead and half alive at the same time, whereas we are either totally alive or totally dead; there is no half-way house where we can live a life of compromise between what Christ demands and what self allows.
Man was made in the image of God and it is a sad fact that such a creature can be destined for hell. But because fallen man is still nearer to God than any of His other creatures, He provides a way of conversion, regeneration and salvation, thus avoiding the waste of His greatest creation. But a man may, by continuing in his own ways, waste himself, which is to waste and lose that which, upon earth, is most like God.